Two states for two nations- a slogan or a necessity?Allegedly, the foremost Israeli interest is to assist the establishment of a Palestinian state that will coexist alongside the state of Israel. The other alternative is that a Palestinian state will not be realized, and then the Palestinians will be annexed to the “greater” state of Israel, and become Israeli citizens for all that it entails.
Such a scenario means that in the “Greater Israel” there will be 6 million Palestinians/Arabs +a million non-Jews and 6 million Jews, thus ending the dream of the Israeli state as a national home for Jews (since in the Knesset there shall be composed in accordance to the representational percentage of 65 non-Jewish MK’s and 55 Jewish MK’s…).
Right wing politicians in Israel, including Netanyahu and his government, realize this but some of them have a dream, in which the status of citizen shall not be assigned to the Palestinians, and in that manner prevent a situation of a majority for non-Jews in the state of Israel (“Israeli Apartheid”).
What is the situation right now in Palestine?
Hamas controls Gaza, the Fatah controls the West Bank headed by President Abu Mazen and his government. Today, the position of the Palestinians in the world derives from the faltering Oslo treaties.
Before and certainly after “Pillar of Defense” operation the position of the Fatah headed by Abu Mazen has weakened, and if elections were to be held today in the PA in the West Bank, it is probable – according to published data- that the Hamas would win in the West Bank.
The way the Palestinian public, and also the way some Muslims in the world see it, Hamas during “Pillar of Defense” proved 5 things: 1. An ability to withstand the strongest army in the Middle East. 2. An ability to hurt the state of Israel. 3. An inability of the strongest army in the Middle East to subdue the Hamas. 4. An ability to hit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and of course the cities surrounding Gaza. 5. A severe demoralization of 2/3 of the Israeli public.
As well as the “five victories” of the Hamas, the Hamas was “granted” 6 prizes: 1. For the first time, the USA acknowledges the Hamas and is negotiating with it through Egypt. 2. Many EU countries have begun to acknowledge the Hamas and are negotiating with it either directly or indirectly. 3. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Jordanian king have shielded the Hamas from an invasion by land from the Israeli forces. 4. Ministers and high ranked government officials from many countries have visited Gaza during “Pillar of Defense”. 5. The Palestinian public of the West Bank felt national pride due to the Hamas’ successful attacks on Israel, thus strengthening itself beyond measure in the West Bank compared beforehand. 6. Abu Mazen is weakened amongst all Palestinian public.
But worst of all, the Hamas proved that Israel understands only one message, and that is one of force. That is, Abu Mazen’s method of political achievements through diplomatic negations- has failed!!!
Operation “Pillar of Defense” shall be tested according to its success in stopping the firing from Gaza. In order for that to happen, it is most important for the Hamas and the Fatah to unite and that their foremost interest will be the continuation of the ceasefire.
Abu Mazen has been negotiating for over a year with many states in an attempt to achieve recognition of a status of a state in the UN. At first this was attempted through the Security Council, but that was blocked in a veto from the USA and the EU. (During 2011 the Palestinians were recognized at UNESCO as a member state.) Now Abu Mazen is attempting to achieve recognition of statehood by appealing the General Assembly, there the right of veto isn’t relevant. There are 193 states in the UN, and except the USA, some European countries and Micronesia, most of the states shall support Abu Mazen’s request and a Palestinian State shall be a full member of the UN. – It is possible that at the last moment such an event will be prevented because of the pressure Abu Mazen is under – but I hope he will not succumb to such pressure.
Israel has eight reasons to refuse the Palestinian’s request of membership in the UN: 1. The current leadership in Israel isn’t interested in the two states solution, for that would require them to withdraw to the borders of 67 with some corrections and land exchanges – an unacceptable proposition to the right wing public in Israel whose representatives are the current Israeli government. 2. As a UN Member, Palestine will be able to sue Israel in The Hague International Court (if Israel’s policy in the past 45 years is so “justified”, why it should fear from the judgment of Hague?). 3. So far, Israel has always declared its peaceful intentions, which of course is a bluff. Now Israel would have no choice but to negotiate seriously with a Palestrina State, which will put Israel in a catch of accelerated negotiations with the Palestinians.4. From the Israeli point of view, this is a one sided action of Abu Mazen, which goes against previous treaties- it’s interesting how many one sided actions toward the Palestinians Israel has performed over the years and that reason never stopped it. 5. A Palestinian state could prevent further Israeli development of settlements in the occupied territories, which goes against the credo of Netanuahu and his people. 6. If a Palestinian State should be established, this will assist the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, which according to the Israel’s concept is undesirable. 7. The western EU countries, which until now have supported Israel automatically, will begin pressurizing Israel to come to a peace agreement with the Palestinians. 8. Should Israel continue its refusal to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinian state that could result in a world embargo/sanctions- or even worse- against Israel.
Behind this situation are underlying psychological barriers of the Israel public: Fear, hatred, demonization and a total lack of trust towards the other side. Israelis keep choosing leaders that are unable to rise to the occasion, unable to ignore narrow political considerations. The politicians in Israel are being led by nothing but public opinion.
It is the good fortune of the Israeli people that the Palestinian president Abu Mazen and his people are still interested in a two state solution. The Israeli leadership is acting irresponsibly out of petty political considerations and an inability to initiate historical developments. For the Palestinians, a two state solution is essential, while to the Israelis it’s just a slogan. If the Israeli leadership were to act wisely, peace would already be here years ago.
If that were to be true, my eldest son Arik who was killed in combat with the Hamas when he was 19 years old would have been today a 38 year old father – may his memory be blessed.